The Cubs have exercised their 2021 $16.5M club option on 1B Anthony Rizzo, and declined their 2021 $25M club option ($10M buy-out) on LHSP Jon Lester and their 2021 club option ($1M buy-out) on INF Daniel Descalso, making Lester and Descalso Article XX-B MLB free-agents.
So the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) now stands at 31 (nine slots are open).
However, the Cubs must reinstate the three players who remain on their MLB 60-day IL (RHRP James Norwood, RHRP Manuel Rodriguez, and LHRP Brad Wieck) no later than tormorrow (Sunday), at which point there will be 34 players on the 40.
The Cubs have claimed 2B-3B-LF Max Schrock off waivers from the St. Loius Cardinals, and LHRP Rex Brothers has been sent outright to AAA Iowa.
If Brothers doesn't elect free-agency immediately, he will be automatically declared an MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA on Sunday at 5 PM Eastern, unless he agrees to sign a 2021 minor league successor contract).
Brothers is out of minor league options and he is arbitation-eligible post-2020, so he was likely to be non-tendered on 12/2 anyway.
Schrock has two minor league options left and he cannot elect free-agency if he were to be outrighted, so the Cubs very well may choose to run him through waivers themselves, but they must wait seven days before he can be placed back onto Outright Assignment Waivers. (Clubs must wait at least seven days to place a player claimed off waivers back onto waivers during the post-season and off-season, and at least 48 hours during Spring Training and the regular season).
Schrock has accrued less than a year of MLB Service Time (he was added to an MLB reserve list for the first time in August) so he is at least three years away from salary arbitration.
LHP Andrew Chafin, RHP Tyler Chatwood, OF Billy Hamilton, RHP Jeremy Jeffress, 2B Jason Kipnis, OF Cameron Maybin, C Josh Phegley, and LHP Jose Quintana were automaticaly declared Article XX-B MLB free-agents at 9 AM (Eastern) today (Wednesday 10/28), so the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) now stands at 32 (eight slots are open).
The Cubs must decide within the next couple of days whether to exercise the club options on INF Daniel Decalso ($3.5M 2021 salary or else $1M buy-ouit), LHP Jon Lester ($25M 2021 salary or else $10M buy-out), and 1B Anthony Rizzo ($16.5M 2021 salary or else $2M buy-out). It is almost a lock that the Cubs will exercise the 2021 option on Rizzo and decline the options on Descalso and Lester.
So with the Cubs almost certainly exercising their 2021 option on Rizzo and declining the options on Descalso and Lester, the Cubs MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) after the World Series will be at 31 (nine slots open, because Descalso becoming a free-agent won't open up a slot on the 40 because he is presently on the MLB 60-day IL).
The three players on the MLB 60-day IL who are not eligible to be MLB Article XX-B free-agents (James Norwood, Manuel Rodriguez, and Brad Wieck) must be reinstated no later than 5 PM (Eastern) this coming Sunday. Once the trio are reinstated, the Cubs MLB Rseerve List (40-man roster) will be at 34 (with six slots open).
The Cubs also must decide by 5 PM (Eastern) on Sunday whether to add any of their minor league players who are eligible to be MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agents (second-contract or 6YFA) to the 40. At present there are 22 minor leaguers eligible to be MLB Rule 55 minor league second contract or 6YFA on Sunday (see full list below) if the player does not sign a 2021 minor league successor contract or is not added to the MLB 40-man roster by the 5 PM (Eastern) deadline.
In addition, any 2020 Rule 5 Draft-eligible player who is not eligible to be a minor league free-agent after the World Series but who was sent outright to the minors after signing a 2020 MLB contract (Trevor Megill and Michael Rucker) must be added to the MLB 40-man roster no later than 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the 2020 World Series or else the player cannot be added back to the MLB 40-man roster of the club that outrighted the player until after the conclusion of the Rule 5 Draft.
See ORIGINAL POST below for what comes next after that...
ORIGINAL POST 10/2: